The Women’s Center of Jacksonville and the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida Partner to Improve Education Levels of Women
Local nonprofit organizations to share their services and expertise to improve the lives of women in Northeast Florida
Jacksonville, Fla. – (Sept. 21, 2021) — The Women’s Center of Jacksonville (the WCJ) has formed a new partnership with the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida to improve the lives of women on the First Coast by sharing services and expertise between the two organizations. The initiative, announced during National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week (Sept. 19-25), will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The collaboration seeks to help address adult literacy in Jacksonville where one in five local adults have an elementary school level or below reading level.
“This partnership enhances our mission to improve the lives of women and will help maximize the impact we have on women in the community,” said Teresa Miles, executive director of the Women’s Center. “We envision this partnership allowing both of our organizations to focus, grow and serve more clients, ultimately reaching more people across Northeast Florida in need of our services.”
Through the partnership, the Women’s Center will refer women in need of improving their literacy skills in order to advance their education to the Literacy Alliance. At the same time, the Women’s Center will make their mental health counseling services available to women enrolled in classes and tutoring at the Literacy Alliance. Women’s Center professionals will also provide training and consulting in the areas of trauma-informed support and gender-specific programming to the Literacy Alliance.
“Education is an essential part of improving the lives of women,” said Marcus W. Haile, Chief Executive Officer of the Literacy Alliance. “Improved literacy skills dramatically enhance the physical, mental and emotional health of women, increase their opportunities to improve income and their access to support, and therefore improve lifelong and life wide accomplishments for women.”
The Literacy Alliance provides literacy instruction through small group classes and individual tutoring. Adult learners participate in weekly learning on reading, writing, language arts and math with in-person instructors as well as online, self-paced learning programs. According to ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, 43 million adults in the U.S. have low literacy skills, and 65% of them are women. Additional facts that illustrate how literacy can significantly improve the lives of women include:
• Over half of sex-trafficked women and children have little to no literacy skills.
• One in three women are victims of physical or sexual violence, and literacy can help break the cycle.
• Literacy makes women five times more likely to prevent and stop the spread of infectious diseases.
• One additional year in school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%.
• Of the 2.2 million people currently incarcerated, 714,000 are women. Inmates who gain literacy are 43% less likely to return to prison.
About the WCJ
The Women’s Center of Jacksonville, or the WCJ, is a Jacksonville-based nonprofit organization offering advocacy, support and education to women in Northeast Florida. The WCJ is the only certified rape crisis center for Duval, Baker and Nassau counties, and rape recovery services are available to individuals of all genders and their families. The WCJ offers no cost or affordable mental health counseling; adult and family literacy; breast cancer support and education; and information and referral assistance. To learn more about The WCJ, visit thewcj.org.
About the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida
The Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida’s mission is to increase literacy awareness and improve adult literacy in northeast Florida through formal instruction and volunteer-based tutoring. Since beginning in 1969 as Learn to Read Jacksonville, the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida has provided free literacy instruction to adults seeking to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. The Literacy Alliance first formed to provide one-on-one volunteer tutoring. Today, the organization continues to offer that powerful level of instruction, but have also grown and changed with the needs of our students to include computer assisted instruction, small group classes, as well as instruction in basic math skills, financial literacy, health literacy, digital literacy and career coaching. For more information, visit literacyallnefl.org.
Michelle Guglielmo Gilliam
Point Taken Communications
Point Taken Communications